[ English | Indonesia | Deutsch | 日本語 ]

Lay of the Land

This chapter helps you set up your working environment and use it to take a look around your cloud.

Using the OpenStack Dashboard for Administration

As a cloud administrative user, you can use the OpenStack dashboard to create and manage projects, users, images, and flavors. Users are allowed to create and manage images within specified projects and to share images, depending on the Image service configuration. Typically, the policy configuration allows admin users only to set quotas and create and manage services. The dashboard provides an Admin tab with a System Panel and an Identity tab. These interfaces give you access to system information and usage as well as to settings for configuring what end users can do. Refer to the Horizon Administration Guide for detailed how-to information about using the dashboard as an admin user.

Command-Line Tools

We recommend using a combination of the OpenStack command-line interface (CLI) tools and the OpenStack dashboard for administration. Some users with a background in other cloud technologies may be using the EC2 Compatibility API, which uses naming conventions somewhat different from the native API.

The pip utility is used to manage package installation from the PyPI archive and is available in the python-pip package in most Linux distributions. While each OpenStack project has its own client, they are being deprecated in favour of a common OpenStack client. It is generally recommended to install the OpenStack client.

Install OpenStack command-line clients

For instructions on installing, upgrading, or removing command-line clients, see the Install the OpenStack command-line client.


If you support the EC2 API on your cloud, you should also install the euca2ools package or some other EC2 API tool so that you can get the same view your users have. Using EC2 API-based tools is mostly out of the scope of this guide, though we discuss getting credentials for use with it.

Administrative Command-Line Tools

There are also several *-manage command-line tools. These are installed with the project’s services on the cloud controller and do not need to be installed separately:

  • nova-manage

  • glance-manage

  • keystone-manage

  • cinder-manage

Unlike the CLI tools mentioned above, the *-manage tools must be run from the cloud controller, as root, because they need read access to the config files such as /etc/nova/nova.conf and to make queries directly against the database rather than against the OpenStack API endpoints.


The existence of the *-manage tools is a legacy issue. It is a goal of the OpenStack project to eventually migrate all of the remaining functionality in the *-manage tools into the API-based tools. Until that day, you need to SSH into the cloud controller node to perform some maintenance operations that require one of the *-manage tools.

Getting Credentials

You must have the appropriate credentials if you want to use the command-line tools to make queries against your OpenStack cloud. By far, the easiest way to obtain authentication credentials to use with command-line clients is to use the OpenStack dashboard. Select Project, click the Project tab, and click Access & Security on the Compute category. On the Access & Security page, click the API Access tab to display two buttons, Download OpenStack RC File and Download EC2 Credentials, which let you generate files that you can source in your shell to populate the environment variables the command-line tools require to know where your service endpoints and your authentication information are. The user you logged in to the dashboard dictates the filename for the openrc file, such as demo-openrc.sh. When logged in as admin, the file is named admin-openrc.sh.

The generated file looks something like this:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# To use an OpenStack cloud you need to authenticate against the Identity
# service named keystone, which returns a **Token** and **Service Catalog**.
# The catalog contains the endpoints for all services the user/tenant has
# access to - such as Compute, Image Service, Identity, Object Storage, Block
# Storage, and Networking (code-named nova, glance, keystone, swift,
# cinder, and neutron).
# *NOTE*: Using the 3 *Identity API* does not necessarily mean any other
# OpenStack API is version 3. For example, your cloud provider may implement
# Image API v1.1, Block Storage API v2, and Compute API v2.0. OS_AUTH_URL is
# only for the Identity API served through keystone.
export OS_AUTH_URL=

# With the addition of Keystone we have standardized on the term **project**
# as the entity that owns the resources.
export OS_PROJECT_ID=98333aba48e756fa8f629c83a818ad57
export OS_PROJECT_NAME="test-project"
export OS_USER_DOMAIN_NAME="default"
if [ -z "$OS_USER_DOMAIN_NAME" ]; then unset OS_USER_DOMAIN_NAME; fi

# In addition to the owning entity (tenant), OpenStack stores the entity
# performing the action as the **user**.
export OS_USERNAME="demo"

# With Keystone you pass the keystone password.
echo "Please enter your OpenStack Password for project $OS_PROJECT_NAME as user $OS_USERNAME: "

# If your configuration has multiple regions, we set that information here.
# OS_REGION_NAME is optional and only valid in certain environments.
export OS_REGION_NAME="RegionOne"
# Don't leave a blank variable, unset it if it was empty
if [ -z "$OS_REGION_NAME" ]; then unset OS_REGION_NAME; fi

export OS_INTERFACE=public


This does not save your password in plain text, which is a good thing. But when you source or run the script, it prompts you for your password and then stores your response in the environment variable OS_PASSWORD. It is important to note that this does require interactivity. It is possible to store a value directly in the script if you require a noninteractive operation, but you then need to be extremely cautious with the security and permissions of this file.

EC2 compatibility credentials can be downloaded by selecting Project, then Compute, then Access & Security, then API Access to display the Download EC2 Credentials button. Click the button to generate a ZIP file with server x509 certificates and a shell script fragment. Create a new directory in a secure location because these are live credentials containing all the authentication information required to access your cloud identity, unlike the default user-openrc. Extract the ZIP file here. You should have cacert.pem, cert.pem, ec2rc.sh, and pk.pem. The ec2rc.sh is similar to this:


NOVARC=$(readlink -f "${BASH_SOURCE:-${0}}" 2>/dev/null) ||\
NOVARC=$(python -c 'import os,sys; \
print os.path.abspath(os.path.realpath(sys.argv[1]))' "${BASH_SOURCE:-${0}}")
export EC2_ACCESS_KEY=df7f93ec47e84ef8a347bbb3d598449a
export EC2_SECRET_KEY=ead2fff9f8a344e489956deacd47e818
export EC2_URL=
export EC2_USER_ID=42 # nova does not use user id, but bundling requires it
export EC2_PRIVATE_KEY=${NOVA_KEY_DIR}/pk.pem
export EC2_CERT=${NOVA_KEY_DIR}/cert.pem
export NOVA_CERT=${NOVA_KEY_DIR}/cacert.pem
export EUCALYPTUS_CERT=${NOVA_CERT} # euca-bundle-image seems to require this

alias ec2-bundle-image="ec2-bundle-image --cert $EC2_CERT --privatekey \
$EC2_PRIVATE_KEY --user 42 --ec2cert $NOVA_CERT"
alias ec2-upload-bundle="ec2-upload-bundle -a $EC2_ACCESS_KEY -s \
$EC2_SECRET_KEY --url $S3_URL --ec2cert $NOVA_CERT"

To put the EC2 credentials into your environment, source the ec2rc.sh file.

Inspecting API Calls

The command-line tools can be made to show the OpenStack API calls they make by passing the --debug flag to them. For example:

# openstack --debug server list

This example shows the HTTP requests from the client and the responses from the endpoints, which can be helpful in creating custom tools written to the OpenStack API.

Using cURL for further inspection

Underlying the use of the command-line tools is the OpenStack API, which is a RESTful API that runs over HTTP. There may be cases where you want to interact with the API directly or need to use it because of a suspected bug in one of the CLI tools. The best way to do this is to use a combination of cURL and another tool, such as jq, to parse the JSON from the responses.

The first thing you must do is authenticate with the cloud using your credentials to get an authentication token.

Your credentials are a combination of username, password, and tenant (project). You can extract these values from the openrc.sh discussed above. The token allows you to interact with your other service endpoints without needing to reauthenticate for every request. Tokens are typically good for 24 hours, and when the token expires, you are alerted with a 401 (Unauthorized) response and you can request another token.

  1. Look at your OpenStack service catalog:

    $ curl -s -X POST \
      -d '{"auth": {"passwordCredentials": {"username":"test-user", "password":"test-password"}, "tenantName":"test-project"}}' \
      -H "Content-type: application/json" | jq .
  2. Read through the JSON response to get a feel for how the catalog is laid out.

    To make working with subsequent requests easier, store the token in an environment variable:

    $ TOKEN=`curl -s -X POST \
      -d '{"auth": {"passwordCredentials": {"username":"test-user", "password":"test-password"}, "tenantName":"test-project"}}' \
      -H "Content-type: application/json" |  jq -r .access.token.id`

    Now you can refer to your token on the command line as $TOKEN.

  3. Pick a service endpoint from your service catalog, such as compute. Try a request, for example, listing instances (servers):

    $ curl -s \
      -H "X-Auth-Token: $TOKEN" \ | jq .

To discover how API requests should be structured, read the OpenStack API Reference. To chew through the responses using jq, see the jq Manual.

The -s flag used in the cURL commands above are used to prevent the progress meter from being shown. If you are having trouble running cURL commands, you’ll want to remove it. Likewise, to help you troubleshoot cURL commands, you can include the -v flag to show you the verbose output. There are many more extremely useful features in cURL; refer to the man page for all the options.

Servers and Services

As an administrator, you have a few ways to discover what your OpenStack cloud looks like simply by using the OpenStack tools available. This section gives you an idea of how to get an overview of your cloud, its shape, size, and current state.

First, you can discover what servers belong to your OpenStack cloud by running:

# openstack compute service list --long

The output looks like the following:

| Id | Binary           | Host              | Zone | Status  | State | Updated_at                 | Disabled Reason |
| 1  | nova-cert        | cloud.example.com | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:38.000000 | -               |
| 2  | nova-compute     | c01.example.com   | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:38.000000 | -               |
| 3  | nova-compute     | c01.example.com.  | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:38.000000 | -               |
| 4  | nova-compute     | c01.example.com   | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:38.000000 | -               |
| 5  | nova-compute     | c01.example.com   | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:38.000000 | -               |
| 6  | nova-compute     | c01.example.com   | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:38.000000 | -               |
| 7  | nova-conductor   | cloud.example.com | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:38.000000 | -               |
| 8  | nova-cert        | cloud.example.com | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:42.000000 | -               |
| 9  | nova-scheduler   | cloud.example.com | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:38.000000 | -               |
| 10 | nova-consoleauth | cloud.example.com | nova | enabled | up    | 2016-01-05T17:20:35.000000 | -               |

The output shows that there are five compute nodes and one cloud controller. You see all the services in the up state, which indicates that the services are up and running. If a service is in a down state, it is no longer available. This is an indication that you should troubleshoot why the service is down.

If you are using cinder, run the following command to see a similar listing:

# cinder-manage host list | sort
host              zone
c01.example.com   nova
c02.example.com   nova
c03.example.com   nova
c04.example.com   nova
c05.example.com   nova
cloud.example.com nova

With these two tables, you now have a good overview of what servers and services make up your cloud.

You can also use the Identity service (keystone) to see what services are available in your cloud as well as what endpoints have been configured for the services.

The following command requires you to have your shell environment configured with the proper administrative variables:

$ openstack catalog list
| Name     | Type       | Endpoints                                                                       |
| nova     | compute    | RegionOne                                                                       |
|          |            |   public:        |
|          |            | RegionOne                                                                       |
|          |            |   internal:      |
|          |            | RegionOne                                                                       |
|          |            |   admin:         |
|          |            |                                                                                 |
| cinderv2 | volumev2   | RegionOne                                                                       |
|          |            |   public:        |
|          |            | RegionOne                                                                       |
|          |            |   internal:      |
|          |            | RegionOne                                                                       |
|          |            |   admin:         |
|          |            |                                                                                 |

The preceding output has been truncated to show only two services. You will see one service entry for each service that your cloud provides. Note how the endpoint domain can be different depending on the endpoint type. Different endpoint domains per type are not required, but this can be done for different reasons, such as endpoint privacy or network traffic segregation.

You can find the version of the Compute installation by using the OpenStack command-line client:

# openstack --version

Diagnose Your Compute Nodes

You can obtain extra information about virtual machines that are running—their CPU usage, the memory, the disk I/O or network I/O—per instance, by running the nova diagnostics command with a server ID:

$ nova diagnostics <serverID>

The output of this command varies depending on the hypervisor because hypervisors support different attributes. The following demonstrates the difference between the two most popular hypervisors. Here is example output when the hypervisor is Xen:

|    Property    |      Value      |
| cpu0           | 4.3627          |
| memory         | 1171088064.0000 |
| memory_target  | 1171088064.0000 |
| vbd_xvda_read  | 0.0             |
| vbd_xvda_write | 0.0             |
| vif_0_rx       | 3223.6870       |
| vif_0_tx       | 0.0             |
| vif_1_rx       | 104.4955        |
| vif_1_tx       | 0.0             |

While the command should work with any hypervisor that is controlled through libvirt (KVM, QEMU, or LXC), it has been tested only with KVM. Here is the example output when the hypervisor is KVM:

| Property         | Value      |
| cpu0_time        | 2870000000 |
| memory           | 524288     |
| vda_errors       | -1         |
| vda_read         | 262144     |
| vda_read_req     | 112        |
| vda_write        | 5606400    |
| vda_write_req    | 376        |
| vnet0_rx         | 63343      |
| vnet0_rx_drop    | 0          |
| vnet0_rx_errors  | 0          |
| vnet0_rx_packets | 431        |
| vnet0_tx         | 4905       |
| vnet0_tx_drop    | 0          |
| vnet0_tx_errors  | 0          |
| vnet0_tx_packets | 45         |

Network Inspection

To see which fixed IP networks are configured in your cloud, you can use the openstack command-line client to get the IP ranges:

$ openstack subnet list
| ID                                   | Name           | Network                              | Subnet          |
| 346806ee-a53e-44fd-968a-ddb2bcd2ba96 | public_subnet  | 0bf90de6-fc0f-4dba-b80d-96670dfb331a | |
| f939a1e4-3dc3-4540-a9f6-053e6f04918f | private_subnet | 1f7f429e-c38e-47ba-8acf-c44e3f5e8d71 |     |

The OpenStack command-line client can provide some additional details:

# openstack compute service list
| Id | Binary           | Host       | Zone     | Status  | State | Updated At                 |
|  1 | nova-consoleauth | controller | internal | enabled | up    | 2016-08-18T12:16:53.000000 |
|  2 | nova-scheduler   | controller | internal | enabled | up    | 2016-08-18T12:16:59.000000 |
|  3 | nova-conductor   | controller | internal | enabled | up    | 2016-08-18T12:16:52.000000 |
|  7 | nova-compute     | controller | nova     | enabled | up    | 2016-08-18T12:16:58.000000 |

This output shows that two networks are configured, each network containing 255 IPs (a /24 subnet). The first network has been assigned to a certain project, while the second network is still open for assignment. You can assign this network manually; otherwise, it is automatically assigned when a project launches its first instance.

To find out whether any floating IPs are available in your cloud, run:

# openstack floating ip list
| ID                                   | Floating IP Address | Fixed IP Address | Port                                 |
| 340cb36d-6a52-4091-b256-97b6e61cbb20 |        |         | 1fec8fb8-7a8c-44c2-acd8-f10e2e6cd326 |
| 8b1bfc0c-7a91-4da0-b3cc-4acae26cbdec |        | None             | None                                 |

Here, two floating IPs are available. The first has been allocated to a project, while the other is unallocated.

Users and Projects

To see a list of projects that have been added to the cloud, run:

$ openstack project list
| ID                               | Name               |
| 422c17c0b26f4fbe9449f37a5621a5e6 | alt_demo           |
| 5dc65773519248f3a580cfe28ba7fa3f | demo               |
| 9faa845768224258808fc17a1bb27e5e | admin              |
| a733070a420c4b509784d7ea8f6884f7 | invisible_to_admin |
| aeb3e976e7794f3f89e4a7965db46c1e | service            |

To see a list of users, run:

$ openstack user list
| ID                               | Name     |
| 5837063598694771aedd66aa4cddf0b8 | demo     |
| 58efd9d852b74b87acc6efafaf31b30e | cinder   |
| 6845d995a57a441f890abc8f55da8dfb | glance   |
| ac2d15a1205f46d4837d5336cd4c5f5a | alt_demo |
| d8f593c3ae2b47289221f17a776a218b | admin    |
| d959ec0a99e24df0b7cb106ff940df20 | nova     |


Sometimes a user and a group have a one-to-one mapping. This happens for standard system accounts, such as cinder, glance, nova, and swift, or when only one user is part of a group.

Running Instances

To see a list of running instances, run:

$ openstack server list --all-projects
| ID                                   | Name | Status | Networks            | Image Name |
| 495b4f5e-0b12-4c5a-b4e0-4326dee17a5a | vm1  | ACTIVE | public= | cirros     |
| e83686f9-16e8-45e6-911d-48f75cb8c0fb | vm2  | ACTIVE | private=    | cirros     |

Unfortunately, this command does not tell you various details about the running instances, such as what compute node the instance is running on, what flavor the instance is, and so on. You can use the following command to view details about individual instances:

$ openstack server show <uuid>

For example:

# openstack server show 81db556b-8aa5-427d-a95c-2a9a6972f630
| Field                                | Value                                                    |
| OS-DCF:diskConfig                    | AUTO                                                     |
| OS-EXT-AZ:availability_zone          | nova                                                     |
| OS-EXT-SRV-ATTR:host                 | c02.example.com                                          |
| OS-EXT-SRV-ATTR:hypervisor_hostname  | c02.example.com                                          |
| OS-EXT-SRV-ATTR:instance_name        | instance-00000001                                        |
| OS-EXT-STS:power_state               | Running                                                  |
| OS-EXT-STS:task_state                | None                                                     |
| OS-EXT-STS:vm_state                  | active                                                   |
| OS-SRV-USG:launched_at               | 2016-10-19T15:18:09.000000                               |
| OS-SRV-USG:terminated_at             | None                                                     |
| accessIPv4                           |                                                          |
| accessIPv6                           |                                                          |
| addresses                            | private=                                         |
| config_drive                         |                                                          |
| created                              | 2016-10-19T15:17:46Z                                     |
| flavor                               | m1.tiny (1)                                              |
| hostId                               | 2b57e2b7a839508337fb55695b8f6e65aa881460a20449a76352040b |
| id                                   | e83686f9-16e8-45e6-911d-48f75cb8c0fb                     |
| image                                | cirros (9fef3b2d-c35d-4b61-bea8-09cc6dc41829)            |
| key_name                             | None                                                     |
| name                                 | test                                                     |
| os-extended-volumes:volumes_attached | []                                                       |
| progress                             | 0                                                        |
| project_id                           | 1eaaf6ede7a24e78859591444abf314a                         |
| properties                           |                                                          |
| security_groups                      | [{u'name': u'default'}]                                  |
| status                               | ACTIVE                                                   |
| updated                              | 2016-10-19T15:18:58Z                                     |
| user_id                              | 7aaa9b5573ce441b98dae857a82ecc68                         |

This output shows that an instance named devstack was created from an Ubuntu 12.04 image using a flavor of m1.small and is hosted on the compute node c02.example.com.


We hope you have enjoyed this quick tour of your working environment, including how to interact with your cloud and extract useful information. From here, you can use the OpenStack Administrator Guide as your reference for all of the command-line functionality in your cloud.